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Poster: HektorT Date: Jan 27, 2011 6:09am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: One-Eyed Jacks

Truly Amazing.

>>Under the law at the time, even if they engage an external distributor to take the film out into the sticks to show it, the preview would be considered a "performance" and not a "publication".<<

American Vitagraph Inc, vs Levy, 659 F.2d (9th Cir. 1981) ruled that films were published for copyright purposes when copies were placed in exchanges for distribution to theater operators. If you can show that the screener for this was not then you have only shown that this potential source of a print without a notice is not a factor. But i don't think you can even show that.


>>Other films that were considered PD that had had similar TV exposure, "Charade" for example, had very early PD video releases and it was not until a decade later that an "official" version was released. I have even seen evidence of 80s PD releases of movies that were clearly taped off cable. "One-Eyed Jacks" did not disappear in 1961 only to reappear on video 30 years later.<<

>>It is clear that Paramount is not greatly interested in utilising their rights in the film. That might make it a type of orphaned work. But the film is not free from all copyright protection.<<

More assumptions. Additionally, an orphan work is a work for which the copyright holder cannot be found. The fact that "VideoCellar" has decided this work is protected by US Copyright and should be defended based on the fact that it does not conform with the history of other PD films means nothing as far as the status of the film is concerned.
Opinions have no place in determining the legal status of a copyrighted work.

No more time for this.

This post was modified by HektorT on 2011-01-27 14:09:13

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Poster: Administrator, Curator, or StaffVideo-Cellar Date: Jan 27, 2011 7:09am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: One-Eyed Jacks

Truly Amazing.

>>Under the law at the time, even if they engage an external distributor to take the film out into the sticks to show it, the preview would be considered a "performance" and not a "publication".<<

American Vitagraph Inc, vs Levy, 659 F.2d (9th Cir. 1981) ruled that films were published for copyright purposes when copies were placed in exchanges for distribution to theater operators. If you can show that the screener for this was not then you have only shown that this potential source of a print without a notice is not a factor. But i don't think you can even show that.


Previews like this were always done roadshow style and were NEVER the product of handing over distribution to a film exchange. How often have you heard of an EXHIBITOR organising a test screening or preview of a film in 1960. This sort of preview was always organised by studio staff, usually the press and promotions people, who transported the print and the survey cards to the theatre, handed the print over to the projectionist and the cards to the audience and collected them afterwards. They screening would not have been advertised. They simply would have commandeered that evenings crowd after the program had played.

Do you know anything about film pre-distribution of the time? This was Paramounts practice at the time. I don't see any reason why they would have deviated from it and got in a film exchange to organise a preview screening.

I have presented evidence that this film was not treated as PD until the 1990s
- Multiple print sources all have copyright notices.
- The copyright registration containing a verified copyright notice
- That its many network showings were on CBS stations (affiliated with Paramount's Television Distribution arm since the 60s).
- There were no unauthorised video releases until 1991, which is after the renewal date.

For the lack of complete public domain (or free from any copyright) status of the film I presented:
- A copyright renewal registration for the film that may or may not be valid, nobody can prove that David R Baer was not the Person With a (documented) History that the renewal claims he was.
- Copyright renwals for the underlying musical scores and literary source.

I have said that the work is not "free from copyright", that the work may be covered by copyright if the renewal is valid and, if the renewal is invalid, the copyright owners would have avenues to control the works distribution based on their underlying rights.

What you have offered us as proof of release without notice:
- A reference to a website that claims it is PD due to ommission of notice while housing a video that CONTAINS A NOTICE.
- The word of reputable PD distributers who, lo and behold, sell copies THAT CONTAIN THE SAME COPYRIGHT NOTICE.
- Stephen Fishman's wise observation that some claimants put notices on after the fact.

Who was it again who was making assumptions?

Additionally, an orphan work is a work for which the copyright holder cannot be found

...or determined. We could not really be sure who would own the copyright. Is it Paramount, its musical publishing arm, the author of the novel, David R Baer or whichever successor-in-interest might exist for Brando's company "Pennebaker, Inc." if some rights reversion was in place?

Maybe we should just call it an abandoned work.

Thanks for your effort, but I don't think anyone can say irrefutably that this film either is or is not in the public domain. The copyright renewals are not definitive in themselves and it can not be definitively proved that the film was published without a notice.

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